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A Google executive once said: “If you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet.” But how does one liberate a society that already has the Internet? Publicly, modern government adheres to the twin ideals of institutional transparency and personal privacy. In reality, while citizens are subjected to mass surveillance, government practice goes unchecked. A new generation has taken to the Internet to defend the right to governance without secrets. From Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks to LulzSec and Anonymous, from the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative to the revelations of Edward Snowden, a coalition is breaking through the secrecy that lies at the core of the modern state. The story gets more complex when open government is contrasted with black transparency, and when a geopolitical rift between the West and Russia becomes the dividing line for whistleblowers and transparency activists seeking refuge. What is transparency for one may be propaganda for the other.

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